ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico volleyball team opened its season with a 3-0 victory over Seattle U on Friday afternoon at the Lobo Classic. The Lobos took the three sets by scores of 25-18, 25-19 and 25-15.
The Lobos came out focused and energetic in the first set, starting the match with a kill from House and forcing the Redhawks to commit two attacking errors. But the Lobos looked a little bit nervous, playing in their first game of the season. They went down 10-7 but back-to-back-to-back kills from junior transfer Simone Henderson, House and redshirt junior Hannah Johnson put the Lobos ahead 11-10.
“I thought we were a little bit nervous,” said head coach Jeff Nelson. “But I thought we were really physical and really athletic and that showed.”
UNM pushed hard the rest of the match, forcing the Redhawks to 10 attacking errors for the first set and a .029 hitting percentage.
Once the Lobos were able to push that first set out of the way, they really showed what they are capable of doing for the 2014 season. The second set, the Lobos put up big blocks and held the Redhawks to a .088 hitting percentage. The Redhawks made a total of eight errors on attacks.
Riddle put together monsterous back-to-back kills in the third set that hit just behind the 10 foot line to take control of the match. Victoria Spragg, who played in her first match as a collegiate player, did not look like she was a freshman. She put up big blocks to help out the Lobos defense and help Seattle U hit a -.108 for the third set.
“I felt like we were all over the ball at times. Some of our blocking errors were that we were blocking too high instead of over the net. I like our athleticism and the speed of our team a lot. “
The Lobos outhit the Redhawks on the match, hitting .202 to their .000 percentage. Johnson and redshirt freshman Ashley Kelsey took control of the back row, collecting a combined 22 digs.
“I thought we worked really hard and that is where it showed the most.”
The Lobos improve to 1-0 on the season and will be back Friday night to take on the No. 2 team in the country, the Texas Longhorns. Tickets are still available. Visit www.GoLobos.com or by calling 925-LOBO. Tonight is a WHITEOUT, the first 600 fans receive a free whiteout t-shirt.